Last Update: Thursday, December 05, 2013
|"Actually, Obama Has Been Terrible For Immigrants" – A Different Hermandad View|
|Written by Tayna B Reyes|
|Thursday, 24 October 2013 03:06|
"The first black president has deported more brown people than anyone before him," according to Fawn Johnson, the author of the article titled, "Actually, Obama Has Been Terrible For Immigrants." This is really not so stunning of an observation.
Others have observed similarly, however, they have stayed away from the issue of race and color, and the so-called "black - brown divide."
That's kind of a no-no. At least this is something that you wouldn't expect a Mexican or Latino to point out, as you would not expect an African American to point out the shortcomings of a prominent Mexican American mayor, congressman, or senator.
It's just not considered polite politically, and neither group wishes to be considered "racist" to the other group even though legitimate political criticism should have nothing to do with race. It's really a question of perception and interpretation.
The National Journal correspondent, Johnson, who is white, has put it out there – the emperor has no clothes. Obama will go down in American history as the president who deported more migrants/immigrants, separated more families, and maintained in incarcerated status in privately contracted immigration detention jails, than an president in American history.
We won't repeat the numbers in this introduction, but they are staggering. Between presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama more than 4 million individuals have been removed from U.S. territory in a thirteen-and-a-half year period.
Another 1.2 million are set to be deported by the end of Obama's second term. That would be close to twice the number of undocumented who legalized their status under the 1986 amnesty program signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
Many would argue that Obama is merely continuing the policy and practice put into place under President Bill Clinton (Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act 1996) and Bush, and the validity of this argument rings true. The legal underpinnings and physical and personnel infrastructure most definitely preceded the "first black president."
The main point for the immigrant rights movement and both Latino and African American communities to recognize is that it could have been Hillary Clinton or John McCain or Mitt Romney, a Democrat or Republican, sitting in the Oval Office and the policy and practice of incarceration and deportation would have been the same. It makes not one iota of difference that the president is black.
The current deportation policy was put into place by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the name of END GAME in 2003 (Bush's first term after the Twin Towers bombings) led by then DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. As a side note, Chertoff enjoys dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship and today is one of the largest private intelligence contractors with the U.S. government.
The End Game program's stated objective was the removal of ten million undocumented immigrants from U.S. territory by the end of the decade. They are actually behind schedule based on their initial ambitious projections. In this sense, then, race really does not matter.
We have truly entered an era when race no longer matters, but not for the moral and political reasons that we would really desire. Remember the media spin after the election of America's first black president and the television cut-a-ways of Jesse Jackson shedding tears of pride.
Well, race still matters as that pertains to institutional racism still prevalent in American society, but it really does not matter when a black or brown reaches the pinnacle of political power be that locally or nationally.
Although, certainly, a black or brown would not assume that elected position without the ethnic vote ("we need to elect one of our own to get some justice" is the rallying cry), however, once sworn into office by the black robes the newly elected officeholder becomes beholden to other corporate interests that are extraneous to the material interests of real black and brown folk, and that includes immigrants.
The demand for accountability on President Obama should be not due to his race, but due to his position of high office and the execution of an extremely unjust and inhumane immigration policy that harms workers, families, women, and children. Obama's race is irrelevant as far as we are concerned, and should not be used to create a wedge between blacks and Latinos who essentially have identical interests due to their social class origin.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 24 October 2013 03:15|